UNPLANNED

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Jennifer K. Lewis

“It Shall Come to Pass That MY Burden Will Be Taken Off My Shoulders and The Yoke Will Be Destroyed Because of My Anointing Growth.”   Isaiah 10:27

Several years ago, I found myself becoming another statistic.  The ‘surreal world’ I  beckoned and thought I was building, came crashing down and faded into the hazy, black abyss forming a lengthy void in my life.

Fortunately, I had taken the initiative to speak with my Pastor and gotten an invaluable referral to a non-denominational group for people who found themselves in those beginning f-u-n days of separation or the recently divorced.

For sure, this non-denominational referral was part of God’s plan as he was positioning the ‘broken-parts’ to be used as stepping-stones in his anointed, jewel-lined path he created just for me!  Actually, I was lucky, huh!!

Then, a close sister-in-Christ, told me about another non-denominational home for destitute, mistreated ladies.  How could I know God was assembling another building block for me?  This home was another answer to petition providing a strong foundation for me to keep growing in my new life of freedom.

There were about ten ladies attending this ‘home’.  Our six-hour daily schedule included a variety of classes to help us enrich, and empower ourselves.  One of the classes required reading and studying the book, The Purpose Driven Life.  I learned a Lot about myself in this tome and I had developed a thirsty heart to share that love and, hopefully, embolden and inspire another.

I had maintained a life of little socialization stemming from shame and unease in the public mainstream.  So, unfortunately, I had grown semi-comfortable just remaining in my uneasy shell.

“Many People Will Praise God Because You Obey The Good News … And Because You Freely Share With Them And With All Others.”          II Cor 9:12

Unplanned events would open my eyes and give me an opportunity to encourage another dejected, hurting soul to realize he Does have a ‘purpose’ in this life.

It was a very c-o-l-d night in January.  Fluffy great white flakes now blanketed our city, quieting everything to a whispered lullaby.   But the piercing cold didn’t stop  robust football fanatics from getting-out to enjoy the Super-Bowl.

My relentless friends insisted on going somewhere to watch this event on a big-screen T.V.   We chose a local pub as we knew of it’s family-friendly atmosphere.

The place was packed!  The only vacant chair was beside some burly-looking guy.  So, I zigzagged through the crowd to the seat.  I ordered a Sprite and some chips with salsa.   (that man had taken a brief ‘break’ to the Gents room).

As soon as he got back, he introduced himself as, Michel B.     Michael sighed with a dejected, nervous laugh.  Almost instantly, I could feel his downcast persona.  (there had been a time when I mirrored his vibe.)

Michael just started talking.  (I must have displayed one of those faces that says:  open-up to me ~ you’re ‘safe’ here).

Throughout our conversation, it was easy to surmise that Michael was a highly intelligent man.  He was questioning just ‘why’ he is here and even his worth!  Anyway, after a couple of hours of sharing our common points of view, and general values, I tried to assure Michael that he Does have a Purpose in this life!

The game was over … the Giants had won!  But, my attention had not been on the game ~ as this moment had taken precedence.

A couple of days passed, and I kept thinking about Michael’s questioning.  I decided to share the wisdom in Purpose Driven Life by giving him a copy.  Several days later, Michael called my non-denominational ‘home’ and let me know how much he had appreciated that I had taken an “unplanned” interest in his life.

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Growing In Christ, Jen


 

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

 

 

 

 

WILLING VESSSEL

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Jennifer K. Lewis

 

“All Things Come Together For Your Good To Achieve My Purpose.”  Jeremiah 28:40

At first, when I moved into my condo, I just didn’t feel things were the most ideal in the world.  Devotion to my eighteen-year marriage had just been shredded and ripped-apart, my business had been forfeited to another, my ability to continue my passionate foster parenting with precious children had been relinquished.  I even lost Heidi, my beloved doggie.

However, as God had planned the precise timing of things.   My replica of the prayer of Jabez, (I Chronicles 4:10) was quietly answered as God had already enlarged my territory.

Many future days were devoted establishing and nurturing a close friendship with an older lady, Doris, in this building.   Doris is 90.  She’s shared with me how she had learned to drive in a model “A.”   We laughed as she recalled how hard it was to steer as there wasn’t any power-steering in those days.  She said, “as she listened to her instructor, Dad, the car bumped along and jostled them about as they had to teach her to drive in cornfield away from any traffic.”

Her teaching experiences were gained in a one-room schoolhouse.  Boy,  she has had some wonderful, funny, days.  She told of one youngster who liked to ‘bully’ the other students.  Her wisdom taught her to simply ‘ignore’ the boy and she said, “he straightened right up!”

A few days ago, Doris came to see me.  While we were visiting, she took note of some things in my curio cabinet.  She spotted this Red Apple I have saved as a memento from my college days.  (ironically, Doris is also a former schoolteacher.)  (usually, the student is giving an apple to the teacher.)  But, in my case, it was being manifested as another ‘backwards’ event my ‘lefty’ world

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My Red Apple has a hand-written message from one of my professors.   Professor Williams came to know me well because my schedule landed me in several of his classes.  (because of my diligence in prior achievements, he most likely had greater expectations of me.)   His message on the apple says: “ I’m so glad you came back to graduate 1st in your Marketing class!”  “You have made this an exciting and challenging year for your fellow students as well as for the faculty.”  “ Most of all, I want to say ‘thanks’ for the Superior Work!”  (I was in my early thirties when I graduated college.)

So why on earth did I share this with you?  (well, since you asked🙂  It’s never too late to accomplish a dream or your goals.  The ONLY requirement is that you BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!  NEVER QUIT!   If you give-up, or stop – who wins?   It sure isn’t going to be you!  On the flip-side, when you persevere, YOU can do anything.

POINT:  God can take ANY situation and turn it around for HIS Glory!  Your part is to be his ‘Willing Vessel.’  TRUST in him and know he has specific plans for you.  Even when you are in the muddy muck and mire and you can’t see a darn thing … HE CAN!

Multitudes can be impacted through your life IF you ‘choose’ to follow Him forever.

“Follow Me and I Will Make You Fishers of Men.”      Matthew 4:19

You CAN make a difference.

GO FISHING!!!

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Growing In  Christ,
Jen

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PORTRAIT OF A FARMER

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.       Galatians 6:9

Proudly, I was raised on a hustle and bustle working farm sprawling a couple-hundred acres.  We had ten ponds on our farm and a wandering creek divided our land almost in half.  We were passed the life my parents had so well-known as they both had grown-up living similar traditions.  My parents and their parents embraced values of planting and harvesting crops and cultivating huge varieties of garden foods.  As four little Lewis kids, we were fortunate to learn valuable lessons from Mom and Dad and both sets of Grandparents.

As many of you who read this will also testify, the farm-life manages to keep you busy from before the sunrises until well-after sunset!  Our farm would easily be akin to those descriptive images.   Oh sure ~ there are plenty of fun-filled times to treasure as we compiled memories of yesteryear days.  If there weren’t any planned activities, when you put four inquisitive, inventive growing brains together in children, creative adventures are bound to be discovered.

Two little girls and two younger boys seemed to have no boundaries.  Our parents kept us heaped in what seemed endless ‘fix-it’ projects, and repair tasks.  But, as our ages dictated, they also spoiled us rotten with colorful bikes, all-terrain motorcycles and well-trained quarter horses, so we could easily traverse and crisscross our many acres.

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Children are a gift from the Lordthey are a reward from him.  Psalm 127:3

“Thank goodness for binoculars.”  Mom and Dad could stand on our Victorian front-porch and scout the land to, hopefully, spot their kids.    Think of turning loose four rambunctious young kids over two-hundred acres of investigative beckoning, land, it’s hard-telling where your youngsters may have landed.  Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that when things get ‘quiet’ you better find-out where your kids are and what they may be up to.

Often, our Mom would go to town to buy groceries and other staples we needed.  Typically, Mom would forego her own needs, and selflessly purchase for her children.  She liked to surprise us with a spiffy new outfit or the newest in shoes.  One of her inquisitive little kids would often ask of Mom “where did you get this?’  Mom’s witty and funny answer would always be, “at the ‘gettin place.”

And, as the warming sun rays and the spring rains permitted, Daddy would plant the corn and beans and walk through lengthy fields as he sowed oats.    Our father toiled long, hard days well into evening clearing the land of rocks that seemed to just keep multiplying and growing and out of thin-air.  Arduously, Dad methodically planted and as the unpredictable weather dictated, maybe Dad had to replant crops.  ALL FOR HIS WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN!!

All summer, our superman, and hero Dad would walk down the rows cutting-down weeds and clearing paths for his combine to straddle the rows for harvest in fall.   (his only request was a Pepsi now and then.)  Then, we all Prayed to be blessed with bountiful harvest

The coziness of winter would creep-in with a kind of ragged sigh of relief.   We girls liked to create to artfully designed snow-angels and the boys would build the most elaborate snow-forts in the fresh white blankets.  On days we were stuck inside, we frequently played monopoly or put 1000-piece puzzles together, after shoveling snow from our long driveway.  (those Big complex puzzles were our Dad’s brilliant idea to keep us busy!  He picked the hardest ones for us to assemble.  Thanks a lot ~ Dad!)

In search of the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree, our vast woods would surely offer just the right sacrifice.   Then, before we knew it, here came spring again.  With God at the helm, we got to start all over again.  Ours was a unique and treasured life.  Indeed, the life, fun, and work of a Farmer is never-ending, but it is also a rich inheritance.  I cherish those days and the tender memories we all made together growing and investing in our beautiful farm!

Oh; but if I could turn back time …               

 … then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.                                                                                                                                                          Leviticus 26:4

Growing In Christ,

Jen

 

Dedicate Your Life

 

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The disciple, Luke said:  “I Will Always Pray ~ I Don’t Ever give Up!”  Luke 18:1

Before my day begins, I choose to start each day on my knees in Prayer, so I’ll send that sentiment along to you too.  This sacred  habit saturates my soul and affords a  meaningful opportunity for gaining a true sense of calmness – and a ‘Peace’ found through Prayer.

Try to dedicate at least 1-hour to DAILY Prayer with your Heavenly Father.

HE is your provider!

All ‘worry’ will accomplish in our lives is more stomach problems, sleepless nights where we ‘wrangle’ (fight our emotions), and toss-and-turn, adding stress, gray-hair, and wrinkles.   Ultimately, all worry does is it give control of our life to the enemy/devil, (which is what he wants).

Please Meditate (chew-on) these Scriptures:

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”             John 10:10

“Take Captive EVERY Thought and Make It O b e d i e n t to Gods Word.”               II Corinthians 10:5

If  negative thoughts or images come  into your head, please know those thoughts were not planted in your Heart by our Wonderful Abba Daddy. He Loves you w- -a- y too much to put ‘hateful’, ‘hurtful’ ‘downer’, thoughts in your Mind! (THAT’S the work of the enemy! (he’s trying to get you to ‘think’ negative junk!)

REFUSE to take the bait!

(The enemy is just trying to find a ‘weak-spot’ in You, then he’ll go to work; and he will WORK on you until he’s succeeds, or fails.)

“Submit to God, RESIST the enemy and he WILL Flee.” James 4: 7 & 8

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God’s word says in Isaiah 61:1 (Isaiah speaking: “The Lord has sent me to Speak Good News To The Poor.” “He has sent me to Bind-Up The Broken-Hearted, Proclaim Healing And Freedom For Captives, and To Proclaim That THIS Is The Year Of The Lord’s Favor.”

(The Apostle Paul, who started as one of Christianity’s most zealous enemies, was hand-picked by Jesus Christ to become the gospel’s most ardent messenger.):

“I CAN Do ALL Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.” Philippians 4:13

 

Growing In Christ,

Jen